I know I keep harping on about it – but I LOVE spring! Today was one of those perfect spring days – lots of sun, with a gentle breeze. We found time to chill outside basking in the sun’s glory in between hanging out loads of washing, setting the bread machine in action, and chopping vegetables to add to the stock that was simmering away.
Sunday is prep day – whereby we get meals ready for the next few days, so that the start of the week doesn’t become bogged down with; ‘what shall I have for lunch today?’; and ‘ what’s for dinner?’ No. none of that in this little house.
On today’s preparation menu was:
- Banana Bread
- Linseed Bread
- Poached chicken in Vegetable stock - which would result in poached chicken for the pasta dish, and vegetable soup
- Lemon and Basil Pasta
After posting some pics on Facebook lots of people asked me for the chicken recipe, as well as how to create the pasta dish.
I have to tell you, the pasta dish is one of the best I’ve EVER made. I know that’s a huge call, but it is such a refreshing meal – you could eat it as a pasta salad. As promised my friends, here are the recipes.
Poached Chicken in Vegetable Stock
I used skinless chicken thigh cutlet pieces, but you can you use what ever part of the chicken you prefer. I recommend using skinless, and pieces containing bones as it enhances the flavour.
4 x pieces of skinless chicken (with bone)
Ingredients for Stock
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
2 x diced brown onions
2 x diced cloves garlic
3 x diced carrots
2 or 3 x bay leaves
1 x teaspoon Massel Vegetable stock powder
5 x cups of water (approx)
1/2 x teaspoon chilli powder (add to personal taste)
2 x sprigs of fresh oregano
Add coconut oil to large pot, over medium heat.
Then add onion, and garlic. Cook until onion begins to become transparent.
Add Vegetable stock powder and 1/2 cup of water Add chicken pieces to onion mix. Cook till lightly brown on one side – turn over. Make sure to keep moving onion around pot, so it doesn’t stick.
After 5 minutes add diced carrots, bay leaves, chilli powder, and two cups of water.
Bring to the boil. Once boiled, add remaining water – bring back to the boil.
Add oregano. Then reduce the heat so the contents simmer for 30 minutes.
Check on contents, stirring occasionally.
After 30 minutes check that the chicken is cooked.
Remove from pot and place on plate to cool. Set aside.
Allow remaining stock to simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
Once cold, remove the sprig or oregano and bay leaves.
You can either mix in blender, or leave chunky.
OPTIONAL: Cook one cup of brown rice and add. Serve as vegetable soup with crusty bread.
Chicken - once the chicken has cooled, pull meat apart and shred. Set aside to use in the pasta dish.
Basil and Lemon Pasta
We love this pasta dish – the lemon makes it such a refreshing meal, that can be served hot or cold. I use the poached chicken from the previous recipe – however, you can omit the chicken entirely as the dish is flavoursome without any meat.
Use poached chicken from previous recipe
Handful of spaghetti pasta (enough for 4 people)
1 x large bunch of fresh basil
2 x clove of garlic – chopped
1/2 x cup smooth ricotta
1 x lemon
1 x cup of bread crumbs (I made these from the crusts of the homemade linseed bread I make – you can buy buy ready made crumbs or make your own)
1/2 bunch parsley
80 grams of pine nuts (approx 1/3 cup)
Add 1 1/2 litres of water in to and 1 tablespoon salt – bring to the boil.
Add spaghetti while water is boiling – make sure you stir the pasta in the water as soon as you add it – it stops the pasta from sticking together. Put lid back on pot until it returns to the boil.
Begin timing the cooking time as per the packet instructions as soon the spaghetti has submerged in the water.
If you use whole-wheat grain pasta remember it takes a little longer to cook. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse.
Leave about 1 centimetre ( approx 1/2 inch) of the cooking water in the bottom of the pot when you drain pasta.
While the spaghetti is cooking add bread crumbs, zest of one lemon, one of the diced garlic cloves, and the parsley to food processor with chopping blade – pulse for 2 minutes.
If you don’t have a food processor finely dice garlic and parsley – add to bread crumbs. Pour bread crumb mix into paper bag. Roll the bag with a rolling pin a few times to crush – then follow instructions below.
Add bread crumb mix to non-stick frying pan till lightly toasted. Keep moving them around the pan so they do not stick or burn.
Once toasted, place in bowl.
Now add pine nuts to pan to toast lightly. Like the crumbs, keep moving them around the pan so they don’t burn. Once they are toasted add to bowl with bread crumbs.
To food processor add ricotta, juice of one lemon, remaining garlic, pinch of salt, leaves from the bunch of basil. Blender on high till mixed.
Once spaghetti is cooked, remember to save a little of the pasta water in the bottom of the pot when draining.
Add the shredded chicken to the pasta water and reheat – keep stirring.
After one minute, add pasta back in with chicken.
Add four tablespoons of the bread crumb mix. Stir through pasta.
Serve pasta and chicken mix into individual bowls.
Sprinkle another heaped teaspoon of crumb mix over pasta.
Add a large dollop of basil and lemon mix on top of pasta. Stir through before eating. YUMMO!
Serve with side salad.
You may find you have some breadcrumb mix left over – add to sterile, air tight jar and use with other dishes. Suggest keeping in the fridge.
I can’t wait to eat the left-overs for lunch tomorrow.
Make sure you add your pics of your version of the pasta dish to Facebook or Twitter.
Keep sharing the love,